March on Teevee!

So, what did we watch in March?

::  We went to see Casablanca on the big screen, which makes it by definition the best thing we saw or watched in March. As Casablanca is my second-favorite movie of all time, the only way it could be bested for a month’s viewing is if we watched Star Wars in the same month, which we did not. I wrote about it on my Substack. (And I have got to stop letting so much time pass between viewings of this movie. It was about a year-and-a-half between viewings. Too long, man. Too long!)

::  Your Place Or Mine is a rom-com. Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon play best friends of twenty years who hooked up one time in college…and then settled into platonic bestie-status. They live on opposite sides of the country, and for the purposes of this plot, they agree to switch houses for a week. Then the movie has each become involved in the other’s life, and as the movie goes on, even though they spend the entire film apart, in the end they have to admit that they’re not platonic besties at all. It’s a diverting enough piece of fluff, but if you want the rom-com between two “lovers” who don’t actually show up in the same place until the very last scene, you’re better off with Sleepless in Seattle.

::  Then there’s R.I.P.D., which stands for “Rest In Peace Division”. I cannot lie: we watched this because it has Ryan Reynolds in it, and nothing with Reynolds is ever unwatchable, even if he has made the occasional not-so-great movie…like this one. Oh well, it happens. This movie coulda-woulda-shoulda been better! It’s not bad, but it has some cool ideas that sadly fall flat in the execution. Reynolds is a cop who is killed in the line of duty, but rather than go to the afterlife, he ends up with the Rest In Peace Division — R.I.P.D., get it?–where he teams up with Jeff Bridges, doing his best growly-angry version of The Dude, to track down dead souls who have gone on the run rather than report to their date with, well, the Bad Place. This is a riff of sorts on the Men In Black idea, with dead people instead of aliens, and with the talent on screen I kept thinking that it should be as good as M.I.B., and yet…it’s not. It’s not bad, exactly…but it’s not great, either. Frustrating, really.

::  I remember when Cameron Crowe’s movie Aloha came out, and it got roasted for being bad and uninteresting and also for whitewashing Hawaiian culture by casting white actress Emma Stone as a character who is “one-quarter Hawaiian”. Still, I wanted to see it anyway, because honestly, I’ve loved just about everything I’ve seen by Crowe. I mean, he’s given us Say AnythingJerry Maguire, and Almost Famous, all of which are terrific. I am even a fan of Elizabethtown, which is not a highly-regarded movie, and We Bought a Zoo, which isn’t exactly poorly-regarded but isn’t considered in the class of his earlier work, either. So, what about Aloha? Well…I didn’t hate it, but it never really clicks, either, and no, Stone is not terribly convincing as someone keyed in by blood to the concerns of the native Hawaiian population. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not a Crowe movie that I’ll be revisiting any time soon. It doesn’t even offer much by way of Hawaiian travelogue goodness. After the movie, it hit me that the most interesting couple in aren’t the leads (Stone and Bradley Cooper), but the secondary couple, the military couple fallen on marital struggle, played by John Krasinki and Rachel McAdams. It’s never a good sign when the writer-director doesn’t realize who the most interesting people in the movie are, is it?

::  Last Seen Alive is…well, let’s just say that it was the perfect movie to watch while armed with a pitcher of Rum Punch. (Have I posted about the Rum Punch yet? No? Huh….) Gerard Butler and Jaimie Alexander are a married couple who are about to “take a break”, after they visit her parents, when they stop at a truck-stop/convenience store for gas. She disappears, and he proceeds to set out to track her down. If you ever want to watch a movie where the hero makes exactly the wrong decision at nearly every juncture along the way, this is it. Also, if you want to watch a guy sweat, watch Butler in this movie, because he sweats a lot. As Carla from Cheers once quipped when Norm said that he’s been known to sweat a bit, “We could grow rice!” It’s a taut thriller, sure–so taut that the movie doesn’t really take time to make me, you know, care about the characters. Three glasses of Rum Punch really helped this goofy movie go down.

Teevee thoughts:

Actually, not a whole lot! We’re still watching the same shows, really. Next Level Chef is still grinding along, and it’s a fun watch, even with its somewhat strange concept. (Why, I continue to wonder, are all the contestants made to dress the same? I don’t get this.) We also started a cooking show on Netflix called Snack Versus Chef, in which chef contestants are tasked with recreating junk-food snack items like Oreos, Lays Chips, and so on. Kind of fun, though it usually leaves me with the munchies.

We also started watching Wednesday, of which I will only say for now that we’re really enjoying. We watched the first episode as a family, and then The Wife and I continued watching, all the way up to the finale…when The Daughter saw us getting ready to watch that very finale and said, “Awwww, I wanted to watch that show with you!” We’re like, “Sheesh, it’s not like we binged it!” We took two to three weeks to get to the finale, and there are only like 8 or 9 episodes…but as of now, we’re rewatching it with her. And honestly? Watching stuff as a family on occasion is still a delight.

What are you all watching these days?


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